Ilham Aliyev: April battles for Karabakh in 2016 dispel myth of Armenia's invincibility
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, speaking in an interview with Real TV about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said that he is "absolutely convinced that if Heydar Aliyev had been the President of Azerbaijan in the first years of independence, our territories would never have been occupied." “I am completely confident about it,” he stressed.
"Unfortunately, those who led Azerbaijan at that time could not realize their responsibility to protect our country's interests. In particular, the alliance of Azerbaijani Popular Front Party(AKC)-Musavat, which came to power as a result of the coup in 1992, and its traitorous policy became the main factor which led to the occupation. At that time, there was a struggle for power, and on the eve of the coup, Shusha and Lachin were occupied. In April 1993, Kalbajar was occupied, thus there was a geographic connection between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia," he recalled.
"Heydar Aliyev would never allow it to happen, because his policy, determination, people's faith in him would never allow our territories to be occupied. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the occupation of our territories, more than a million refugees and displaced people is the legacy of the AKC-Musavat alliance," Ilham Aliyev noted.
"Today, Azerbaijan has an advantage both at the negotiating table and on the battlefield. In recent years, we have created a powerful legal basis for resolving the conflict. Many influential leading international organizations of the world have adopted resolutions, reflecting the truth, supporting our position, The UN General Assembly, even earlier - the Security Council, the OSCE, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other organizations,” the President of Azerbaijan drew attention.
"The document on partnership priorities, signed between the European Union and Azerbaijan, expressed support for our territorial integrity, sovereignty, inviolability of borders. That is, it creates a legal basis for resolving the conflict. We all know that Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan. The settlement of the conflict is possible only within the territorial integrity of our country," he said.
"At that time, having created a powerful economic potential, we formed a strong army. Today, the Azerbaijani army is one of the strongest armies in the world. Our combat capability is growing. We equip our army with the most modern equipment. The April battles demonstrated our strength. By conducting a counteroffensive operation from the worst military positions, we took strategic heights. We liberated our territories from invaders. Today the Azerbaijani flag flutters in Agderinsky, Fizuli, Jebrail districts. The April battles are our glorious historical victory. Being in Leletepe, seeing the flag of Azerbaijan there, I feel proud. Every citizen of Azerbaijan feels proud," Ilham Aliyev said.
"Our soldiers and officers showed real heroism. The April battles are a historical event. They dispelled the myth that Armenia has been creating for years. That is, the Armenians tried to form such an opinion that their army was supposedly strong and invincible. Azerbaijani soldiers and officers showed whose army is really strong and invincible. This myth was scattered to pieces. The April battles increased our national spirit, raised it to the heights. Therefore, this event once again shows that the Azerbaijani people and the state will never reconcile with the occupation," the President of Azerbaijan stressed.